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Head of Department: Professor Keith Cattell

Departmental Profile

Research and allied scholarly work in the Department falls under two broad themes of property and construction. Four research groups examine issues related to infrastructure delivery, construction industry development, emerging property markets, and facilities management. A number of cross cutting themes provide diversity and smaller research interest groups; these themes include sustainability, project management, human development, procurement, entrepreneurship and teaching and learning.

Strong research links exist with academic institutions in the United Kingdom, Australia, United States of America, Central and East Africa, and India, as well as with institutions within South Africa.

During 2010, papers were presented at key international conferences in Durban, East London, Paris, São Paolo and Sydney. In addition, a number of papers were published in peer-reviewed local and international journals, frequently with international co-authorship, underlining the Department’s international profile and collaborative research philosophy.

Nationally, the Department continues its engagement with local and international organisations. These include:

  • The Association of South African Quantity Surveyors on the Standard System and Chapter Committees,
  • The South African Council for the Quantity Surveying Profession as Council Members and on the Education Standards and Research Sub-Committee,
  • The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors on the World Regional Board, the Education Standards Board and on the MENEA Region Education Standards Board,
  • EU Framework 7 SME Thematic Area as the Assistant National Contact Point,
  • The South African Facilities Management Association,
  • The South African Property Owners Association, and,
  • The Construction Industry Development Board.

Research endeavours by individual staff have been good in terms of higher degree graduates, attracting research funding, and research outputs. The staff received research funding from a variety of sources in 2010, namely: the University Research Committee (URC), the National Research Foundation (NRF), and the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB). In addition, the department boasts two NRF-rated researchers; one rated “B2” and the other rated “Y2”.

In addition, one of the department’s masters student received the “Housing Student of the Year Award 2010” for their research into innovative financing in the low-income housing market.


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